National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Prof. Tessa Morris-Suzuki
Pacific and Asian History, RSPAS, Australian

Exotic Properties: Migrants, Globalization and the Control of Boundaries

In 1997 the Australian Federal government took a rather radical policy decision which was, at the time, very little reported. It decided to hand the running of Australia's migrant detention centres over to a private firm, a subsidiary of the Florida-based Wackenhut Corporation. Originally founded in the 1950s as a private security firm, Wackenhut is now a global company operating prisons and security operations throughout North and South America, Europe and elsewhere. This policy move therefore transferred an important element in the maintenance of the boundaries of the naiton into the hands of a multinational corporation. My paper takes the policy of privatizing migrant detention centres (in Australia and elsewhere) as a starting point for considering some aspects of the relationship between "globalization" and the redrawing of national lines of exclusion and inclusion.

Tessa Morris-Suzuki is a professor in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. She is currently engaged in an international research project on cultural economy of globalization.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops